You Can Now Live Like a Crawley for a Night in the Real Downton Abbey
Dust off your finest evening gown and polish up your dinner etiquette because Downton Abbey is opening its doors to guests. Highclere Castle, the stand-in for the fictional Crawley family’s grand Yorkshire estate is available to book on Airbnb for one night only, in what promises to be a stay fit for Lords and Ladies. Reservation opportunities will be open starting on October 1 and two lucky guests will get a chance to spend the night in the castle on November 26. Requirements include a verified Airbnb profile, positive reviews, and naturally, a passion for Downton Abbey. (If you need your British period drama fix before then, the Downton Abbey movie premieres on September 20).
Highclere’s owners, the Earl and Countess of Carnarvon, will be present to host a cocktail reception in the Saloon and then a traditional dinner in the State Dining Room, complete with butler. After dinner, coffee will be served in the Library before guests turn in for the night. The next morning, guests will be treated to a private tour of the grounds. The castle itself has maintained much of its 17-century structure, and true to its era, has no WiFi, but with a sprawling 100,000 square feet and 300 rooms, there is plenty to keep you occupied.
At $159/night, the price is certainly affordable, even if you don’t have any royalty in your lineage. Airbnb is also making a donation to The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.
Of course, there are some house rules. No pets are allowed, although there are nine friendly dogs on site, gossip is restricted to the downstairs quarters only, and cocktail attire is a must for dinner. Naturally, the listing is mid-week, because in the words of the Dowager Countess, “What is a weekend?
(Photos via Airbnb and Highclere Castle)
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Lesley Chen is a California native who writes about travel, health/fitness, and other lifestyle topics. She has a serious case of RBF and exercises mainly to balance out an aggressive candy addiction.